These Jiggly Japanese Soufflé Pancakes are the most delightful, jiggliest, fluffiest pancakes you'll ever have! Top them with some maple syrup, fruits and whipped cream, and you'll want to be indulging in them every single brunch weekend.
Happy early Mother's Day to all the amazing women in the world that nurtured and shared their love with the world! We love you all and thank y'all for being a part of our lives. And needless to say, these ladies deserve to be served the best Mother's Day brunch ever! If this is part of your Mother's Day surprise, these jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes should definitely be part of your menu.
Why? Because these pancakes have the most delightful jiggle, lightness, and fluff a pancake can ever ask for. Yup, that's why it was trending for the past couple of years, and now it's one of the most popular cafe desserts in Asian countries.
So let's get whipping so you can make a fabulous brunch for the amazing women in your life!
If you're looking for other recipes to complement your brunch menu, check out our:
Let's dive into some tips and FAQs to make these jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes easy-peasy!
Why are they called soufflé pancakes?
The name soufflé pancake comes from the way these pancakes are prepared and mimic how soufflés puff up and later deflate. Both the pancakes and soufflés are made by folding meringue into the base batter to act as a natural leavening agent and to create that iconic rise and fall.
Why are the Japanese pancakes jiggly?
These Japanese pancakes are known for being jiggly. And all that jiggle lies in none other than the meringues! Meringues are light and airy in texture. So add that to something like a triple stacked, soft and fluffy pancakes, and we get jiggles and wobbles.
With that said, in order for the pancakes to stand up to the weight of the flour and the egg yolks, the meringue must be whipped to stiff peak. Using stiff peak meringue will also prevent the pancakes from spreading out too much and becoming flat.
My meringue won't stiffen up.
To prevent egg whites from deflating and not stiffening up, make sure the bowl and your whisk is clean and free of grease and oil. Fat tends to hinder the egg whites from whipping up to full potential.
Aside from making sure your equipments are clean, adding some acid like cream of tartar, vinegar, or lemon juice can help stabilize your egg whites so that they can achieve stiff peak and not deflate.
Some people recommended using room temperature egg whites or egg whites that have been aged, but we didn't find the difference substantial enough to be necessary.
Should I use all-purpose flour or cake flour?
I've tried many soufflé pancake recipes that called for cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, and honestly, I wasn't the biggest fan of the texture the pancakes had. The purpose of using cake flour is to keep the pancakes as light as possible, but for me, it made the pancakes to cake-like in texture. So for our recipe, we used all-purpose flour to give the pancakes a little bit more chew so that they're more like pancakes and not cakes. But don't worry, the pancakes will still be light and jiggly.
Do I need to add baking powder?
That is all up to personal preference. We find that adding a small amount of baking powder doesn't interfere with the texture of the pancakes and also help the pancakes rise a bit higher when they're being cooked. So feel free to omit the baking powder if you wish.
Can I sweeten my pancakes more?
Yes! If you want to sweeten your pancakes more, simply add more sugar to the meringue when you're whipping it up. I recommend that you experiment with adding 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time to find your perfect ratio.
We find the sweetness of the pancake in this recipe perfect since we served ours with sweet condiments like whipped cream, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.
Troubleshooting jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes that deflates immediately
Make sure the pancakes are cooked.
Adding a tablespoon of water and covering the pan with the lid helps steam the pancakes and get it cooked faster.
Sometimes these pancakes can be deceiving and look done on the outside but still raw on the inside. To help these pancakes cook, keep it on a low heat with a lid to retain the heat and steam. To check if the interior of the pancakes are cooked through, simply insert a toothpick and it should come out with just a few crumbs.
Whip the meringue to stiff peak.
It is very important that the meringue is whipped to stiff peak because the meringue helps hold up the structure of the pancake. To know if your meringue is stiff, lift up your whisk from the bowl of meringue and it should for a standing peak. The tip may curl slightly but not by much. When you scoop up stiff peak meringue it should maintain its shape and not bulge at the base. A fun way to test the meringue is to flip the bowl upside down, and if the meringue doesn't slip and fall out of the bowl, it's stiff.
Do note that meringues can get over beaten, and you'll know because it'll start to look clumpy, watery, and broken.
Do not overmix your batter.
You can whisk away your batter base (the flour, egg, etc.) until smooth, however, the same cannot be done to the meringues you worked so hard on. I recommend adding a small scoop of meringue to your base batter just to loosen it up. For this addition, you can mix the meringue roughly. Then add the remaining meringue either in one go or in two additions. For these latter additions of meringue, make sure to gently fold them in just until the meringue is fully incorporated and no more streaks of yellow or white is visible. Overmixing will cause the meringue to deflate which will result in short and dense pancakes.
You can fold the meringue with either a spatula or a whisk.
My soufflé pancakes are beautiful on the outside but raw on the inside
You may be cooking your pancakes on too high heat. We find that if you are cooking the pancakes on on electric or glass stovetop, a medium low heat is preferable. However, if you are cooking on a gas range, low heat on the lowest setting works the best.
These pancakes need to be cooked on a low heat setting for a longer period of time than regular pancakes because they are quite thick. So be patient. We promise it's all worth it!
Cook with love!
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Jiggly Japanese Soufflé Pancakes
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, combine egg whites and vinegar. Beat the egg whites on medium high speed until frothy. Start to gradually add sugar to the egg whites while continuing to beat at medium high speed until the meringue reaches stiff peak.
- Add ⅓ of the meringue into the batter base and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining meringue to the batter and gently fold the meringue into the batter until just incorporated and no more streaks are visible.*DO NOT overmix. It will deflate all the meringue.*
- Heat a large non-stick pan over low heat*. Lightly grease the pan with a neutral oil. Make sure to wipe away excess oil. *If using a gas range, lowest heat setting is recommended. If using electric stovetop, medium low heat will work best.*
- Reserving ¼ of the batter, scoop the remaining batter into the pan to form 3 even mounds. Do not flatten. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pancakes cook for about 3 minutes to firm up slightly at the base.*You can also make smaller pancakes, but do note that the cook time will differ.*
- After 3 minutes, evenly distribute the reserved batter onto each mound of pancakes. Add about 1 tablespoon of water around the pan and replace the lid. Let the pancakes cook for about 5-6 minutes until the water has evaporated, the sides of the pancakes are no longer wet, and the bottom of the pancakes have turn a nice golden brown.Flip the pancakes and add the last tablespoon of water to the pan. Cover the pan and cook the pancakes for another 5-6 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
- Serve the pancakes immediately while it's tall. Enjoy it with lightly sweetened whipped cream, maple syrup, compotes and fresh fruits!